ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Thu Jul 16 21:42:42 EDT 1998
On Mon 13 Jul 98 (08:39:29), glenpjohnson at email.msn.com wrote:
> What is the meaning of NAFSHI 'ESSA' (NEFESH NASA') in Psalm 25:1? The
> same phrase occurs in Psalm 86:4 and 143:8.
> Does it mean "I desire You" or is "I communicate with You my emotions,
> desires and passions?" I'm not trying to limit your options, but I am
> sharing with you the options that appear most likely to me.
ISTM that here is the origin of the liturgical greeting /Sursum corda/
and its response /Ad Dominum habemus/. (Lift up your hearts. We lift them
up to the Lord). The Latin Vulgate renders Ps 25:1 /Ad te, Domine, levavi
animam meam/. The LXX has PROS SE, KURIE, HiRA THN YUCHN MOU (Ps 24:1).
That is what it meant to Jerome; and that is what it meant to the Seventy.
If the Psalter was indeed the "Hymn Book of the Second Temple" then we
can expect it to be a source for Christian liturgical phrases. Another
one is the liturgical salutation /Pax vobiscum/ (Peace be with you) and
its response /Et cum spiritu tuo/ (and with thy spirit). Not "with thy
spirit"; but "with thee".
The NePheSh is one's living soul; Genesis 2:7 WaYYeHiY Ha'aDhaM LeNePheSh
ChaYYaH. The Psalmist frequently exhorts himself to do things, addressing
himself as "my soul" or "my heart". Mary in her /Magnificat/ uses the
same convention: MEGALUNEI hH YUCH MOU TON KURION (Luke 1:47). Delitzsch
renders this into Hebrew WaTTo'MeR MiRYaM RoWMaMMaH NaPhShiY 'eTh-YHWH
(Luke 1:46b). So the convention is well established. "My soul" or "my
heart" = "me".
Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
<ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)
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